Burns occur when the skin is exposed to high heat, certain chemicals, or intense electric currents. Burns range from first degree (the least severe) to third degree (the most severe). A mild burn of first degree will only cause red skin and a mild pain. It takes about three to six days to heal. Second-degree burns may cause blister and are usually swollen and painful. Third-degree burns are severe burns which damage deeper layers of skin and sometimes the fat and nerves underneath, may look gray and charred. Third degree burns should be treated by emergency medical services. They cause fluid loss and may lead to shock. Minor burns respond well to home treatment; however, severe burns require immediate medical care.
First degree burn:
- Burned skin become red and painful.
- Skin is hot and sensitive to touch.
- Sunburn is a classic example.
Second degree burn:
- Skin is red, blistered and painful.
- Skin appears wet or moist.
- Clothing may be stuck to the skin.
Third degree burn:
- Skin may appear stiff, waxy white, leathery or tan.
- Burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Results in severe scarring.
- Most severe form of burn that affects structures well beyond the skin.
- Skin may appear blackened or charred.
Home Remedies for Burns
- Cool the skin: The very first thing you should do is to take immediate step to cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Do not put an ice cube directly on the burn, as this may cause further skin damage. Once the burn has cooled, gently remove anything that constrict the area if it starts to swell, such as cloth, or watches. Don’t try to remove clothing or material that is stuck to burned skin.
- Aloe vera: Apply the gel from inside the leaf of aloe vera plant or use aloe vera cream on burn. Avoid alcohol-based gel or cream. Alcohol will sting on any open skin. Nothing soothes a burn better than cooling aloe vera.
- Ginger: Squeeze out the juice from fresh ginger and apply it to burn with cottonwool ball to reduce pain and blistering.
- Honey: Ease the pain of a mild burn by applying thick coat of raw, natural honey twice a day. Cover it with gauze to keep the honey from getting on to clothing. Honey has antimicrobial and hydrating properties which helps to keep the area free of infection and well moisturized.
- Aloe vera, sandalwood and turmeric: Mix 1 tablespoon aloe vera with 1/4 teaspoon each of sandalwood and turmeric and apply the paste topically. Turmeric’s antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties combines with cooling and soothing effect of sandalwood and aloe vera to heal burn quickly.
- Cilantro: Take fresh juice of cilantro by placing a handful of cilantro in the blender with about 1/3 cup of water. Strain it and take 2 teaspoons three times a day.
- Lavender oil: Apply 2-3 drops of lavender oil to the affected area and spread it with gauze pad. It has calming property which take the sting out of the burn and heal quickly.
- Calendula: Apply an ointment of 2-5 % concentration of calendula (marigold) three to four times a day.
- Vitamin E: Once the wound starts healing, break a capsule of vitamin E and pour the liquid on it. This will reduce the chance of scarring.
- Apple cider vinegar: For large burn areas take apple cider vinegar baths. Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bathtub of cool or warm water and soak for 10-15 minutes. It helps to restore the skin’s acid/alkaline balance and the pain will be immediately relieved.
Do’s for Burns
- Drink plenty of fluids and electrolyte drinks to avoid dehydration.
- Increase your vitamin C intake. Take citrus fruits, berries, carrot, squash which contain high amounts of bioflavonoids to promote skin healing and also strengthen the immune system.
- Take vitamin E which helps tissue to heal and is an excellent antioxidant.
- Take food rich in essential fatty acids such as walnuts, fresh salmon, cod, flaxseeds for tissue repair.
- Consume a high protein and calorie diet to speed up the recovery.
Don’ts for Burns
- Avoid foods that increases heat in the body such as pepper, cloves, dried garlic, mustard as these may make the burn worse.
- Do not apply any type of butter on a burn.
- Do not break blisters.
- Child has a burn.
- Burn is electrical or chemical burn.
- Unsure about the severity of the burn.
- A burn is near the mouth or throat, or on the face, or genitals.
- There is a signs of shock, breathing problems, or victim becomes unconscious.